Britney Spears recently received an extraordinary accolade from the UK’s highly respected top broadsheet newspaper the Daily Telegraph: “Amid all the fretting and frothing about her sanity…it’s easy to forget Britney’s pop brilliance. Sweeter-voiced than Beyoncé, Christina and Pink, she has had a string of classics to put the pretenders to shame. Baby One More Time, Oops, Slave 4 U, Toxic… Britney is the pop artist of her generation.”

Most pop singers don’t get compared to Beyonce, Christina or Pink. But most pop singers don’t get ridiculed and abused for their voices either. Normally, the critics don’t think a pop singer’s voice is worth discussing. It is what it is, it may not be great but it carries a tune and provides an excuse to be on stage. And that’s enough. What a relief for Jessica, Kylie, Geri Halliwell, Rachel Stevens, Emma Bunton and countless others.

So, when they take Britney to task, it tends to be for superficial reasons. They’re down on her for what she isn’t rather than for what she is. She isn’t a big voiced diva. She isn’t Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. OK! So she isn’t the sort of artist who is going to thrill an auditorium of 15,000 people with soaring flights of multi-note vocal fancy. But she is an artist, and a very special one. Like the very best singers of today, she puts her own stamp on every song she sings.

Britney’s childhood dentist Michelle LeBlanc said: “When she comes in to have any dental work done, she sings the whole entire time. The radio’s going, she’s singing everything that’s on the radio…When you’re coming in or out of her mouth or whatever, she’s humming or singing. And as soon as you’re out of her mouth, the words are coming again. She’s the first person I’ve seen who’s constantly wanting to sing.”

When New York agent Nancy Carson took Britney under her wing after Disney decided she was too young to be a Mouseketeer, she felt that Britney could sing well but wasn’t doing it in a technically correct way. Britney then spent many years under the tutelage of a number of vocal coaches. By the time Larry Rudolph sent for her to audition for a recording contract there was very little she didn’t know about professional singing.

The voice that rocked a startled world was like nothing we had ever heard before. Where the 8-year-old Britney sounded like she was 21, the 16-year old showbiz veteran seemed actually to have regressed a few years. The fine technique she had spent her whole life developing had been replaced by a much more constricted voice featuring a whole encyclopaedia of mannerisms – the most obvious of which were her strange guttural croaks and groans. A massive thanks to for this

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BTW thank you all for your valuable comments!

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